Steffen stressed "unity and militancy at the bargaining table" and his commitment to the campaign against big business and big givers' monetary dominance in politics.
Union leaders hailed the Senate vote, which forces senators to postpone the debate on fast-track until after the Memorial Day recess.
Hundreds of unionists gathered on Capitol Hill on May 7 to campaign against "fast-track" trade legislation and the anti-worker trade treaties it would lead to.
The death of fast-track, Obama told the Center for American Progress, gives him the opportunity to construct a new trade policy to benefit workers in the U.S. and worldwide, that guarantees labor rights, that protects "buy America" federal, state and local rules and that is not tilted towards corporations, among other positive factors.
From opposing "fast-track" trade treaty bargaining authority to restoring and expanding voting rights, the AFL-CIO Executive Council committed the labor movement to specific stands on a select group of high-profile issues.
In a message to 1,000-plus activists at UAW's political action conference in D.C., the union leader said activism is even more necessary because 2014 is an election year, when foes of workers will go all out against them.
On August 7, 1919, the Republic of the Councils of Hungary in Budapest was crushed by foreign reactionaries.
With the Obama administration moving ahead with negotiations with Pacific Rim nations, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Teamsters President James Hoffa teamed up.
The AFL-CIO is urging Congress and the Obama administration to use negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Pact to redo U.S. trade policy to support workers.
"As president, Barack Obama has placed his faith in America's working men and women to lead our country to economic recovery and to our full potential as a nation," Richard Trumka said during the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting.